Monday, January 18, 2016

The Monthly Bath

The monthly bath for December did not happen. I am referring to the monthly canine bath that happens here  regularly. My surprise ambulance ride to the hospital and my subsequent stay in a holding room with no access to a shower got in the way.

I have been thinking about bathing the canines since getting out of the hospital and getting a shower myself after three days without one. If I felt that bad after only three days, then the dogs must be feeling awful!

When I woke this morning, very early to let Martha, the boy cat, out to roam (we made him stay in last night due to the extreme temperatures) and shuffled back to bed, I was suddenly hit with the aroma of four dogs in my bed. I knew it was time.

He Who is not known for attention to details had offered to wash my four legged babies. Several times, he offered and I did not deny him the pleasure of helping me out with this task. He just never seemed to get around to actually performing.

He has done it before, but he makes it such an ordeal for himself and the animal. Growling and splashing and shaking accompany his voice as he will tell whichever pet to "calm down" in a not-soothing tone. It escalates into shouts of "STOP THAT" and I always have to intervene.

So, while he was sitting in his recliner late this afternoon I gathered towels and dog shampoo and cleared the kitchen counter. Yes, I bathe my babies in my kitchen sink. Does not affect the food in the kitchen, as I scrub everything down before and after. But, I am not inviting you to eat here, I am telling a story.

My old boy, Oscar squinted up at me with his foggy eyes. I am not sure how much he sees anymore, but he was quite happy to be scooped and  placed gently into the nice warm water. I lathered and scrubbed his old body and he grunted with pleasure. He has come to appreciate a good bath and massage in his old age. I carefully cleaned his eyes and ears and dried him before carrying him, wrapped in a dry towel and placing him in the lap of He Who had offered to bathe him.

The only whining during the bath was Cujo, anxious for his turn. Cujo loves a good bath. He loves the wet down, the lathering and the rinsing. He tries to drink the water and gives my hands kisses as the bath goes on. The day I met him, when the swimmer lady was going to leave him in her car while her family was in the pool, I gave him a quick bath and he offered no objections then. I think he equates being clean with being loved. He would never have let He Who offered bathe him anyway.

Next was Wall-E. Usually, the hardest part about bathing Wall-E is catching him. He will hide behind furniture and go limp and heavy like a toddler having a temper tantrum. He will whine and cry ugly iodine tears on his white fur. During one of his first baths he bit me. I bit him back and he has never tried that again. (I always bite puppies back, that is what their mothers do and it works for them.) Today, Wall-E watched the other two dogs come in fresh from the bath and he did not hide! He just watched me walk over to him and let me pick him up. Must be getting old, or he knew my energy was going fast. He is a very sensitive and loving dog and he knows I don't feel so good.

I was pretty done in after three dogs and Toni Louise was hiding behind my chair. She was watching. She thought I could not see her. I told He Who is her person to take care of his own dog.

I almost sat down as I watched him haul her from behind the chair. He got her to the sink and was trying to shove her into a sitting position. I took over. I told him he would have to help and dry her when I was done. I was thinking about the mess I would have to clean up, but I was also thinking about Toni L and her sensitive skin. Her fur is long and if you don't do a very thorough rinse she will develop a rash and start scratching and gnawing at her skin.

I am exhausted, but happy that my house does not smell like a dog kennel.


Val said...

Even I felt squeaky clean at the end!

Sondra said...

My girls are so big I can barely lift them into the bathtub, Casey the old male is small and easy....I had an idea for a coin operated dog wash biz.

luksky said...

One of the reasons I have always been a small dog lover is because of the ease of their grooming. My 90 lb bull dog rarely gets a bath in the winter. In the summer it's easy because we can just hose and shampoo him outside. Interestingly enough, when I'm in the tub he loves to come and drink out of the bathtub faucet. He has even tried to get into the tub with me. I know he would if I would let him, but that would just be weird. He will only voluntarily get into the bathtub if I'm in there.

Linda O'Connell said...

I know your pups appreciated their baths. Nobody believed that I could bathe a cat or give him an enema. It's all in the sweet talk. You are a dog whisperer.